Angela's Reviews > The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation

The United States of Arugula by David Kamp
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Apr 25, 11

bookshelves: book-group
Read in April, 2011

I finished this book. Yes I did. I say that so proudly because I attended book group NOT having finished it, and then pretty roundly trashed it and declared I would not finish it, there being, as always, so many other books to move on to. But then I came home and started channeling my inner Democrat (not hard to do, since I'm an outer Democrat too), and I started feeling guilty about possibly not fully considering the other side of the argument. Plus, Joanna really liked it, so there had to be something to it. So I finished it -- that same weekend! -- and while I still think it was overly detailed in an unusual, unsatisfying and occasionally confusing way, I do appreciate how thoroughly researched it was. I still maintain my opposition to the inclusion of some of the more salacious details. A recounting of the sexcapades at Chez Panisse was probably important in establishing a sense of its "vibe," but reading about the odd father/son sexual encounters of another profiled personality came off as cheap and sad. Did it truly have an effect on America's food evolution? So I didn't love this book, but I did appreciate it, and at the very least it made me pull one of Alice Waters' cookbooks off my shelf and make three FABULOUS recipes in the past two weeks. So there.
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